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Armenia rejects Turkish proposal for Azerbaijan-Nakhchivan corridor

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan speaks during a press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran on October 4, 2020.

Armenia has strongly rejected a proposal by Turkey for setting up a corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan that would pass through its territory nearly two months after Iran warned that it would not tolerate any changes to geopolitical boundaries of the region.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said in comments published on Saturday that Yerevan had rejected an offer of normalizing ties with Turkey on conditions that Armenia allows Azerbaijan to set up a special corridor to its exclave Nakhchivan.

“We have received positive signals from Turkey to reopen the dialogue, but it remains complicated. Ankara is setting new preconditions,” Mirzoyan told French newspaper Le Figaro.

“Among them is the “corridor” connecting Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan. It can in no way be a subject of discussion,” he said.

The comments come more than a month after Iran issued official warnings that it would not tolerate any changes to terms of an agreement reached after a war last year between Azerbaijan and Armenia which led to the liberation of Azerbaijani territories occupied by pro-Armenian groups for nearly three decades.

Political analysts said at the time that Turkey, which fully backed Azerbaijan during the 44-day war, was trying to facilitate its access to the Caspian Sea through setting up a corridor that passes through Nakhichevan, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

However, Mirzoyan said that Armenia will not allow the establishment of one such corridor as it could violate its territorial integrity.

“States must allow transit while maintaining sovereignty over their own territory,” he said.

The Armenian FM said that Yerevan will be ready to normalize its economic ties with Turkey, including to resume imports from the country, if that happens “without preconditions”.

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